“Automate Everything” Challenged in Recent DevOps.com Article

WonkaTestingIn the last year, we’ve gotten much closer to a universally agreed upon definition of DevOps—and that’s a good thing. Confusion around the term sometimes resulted in even greater distrust between devs and ops, and those in testing, QA, or security wondered what their part is in this growing “must” for startups all the way to the enterprise.

One issue in DevOps where confusion still remains is in the current popularity of the “automate everything” mantra that so many are recommending today. Testers especially are raising their hand to ask, “What exactly do you mean by…everything?”

I wrote a recent article for DevOps.com, “Testing Will Never Be Automated” where I tried to clear up some of this confusion. Numerous speakers at the 2015 STAREAST testing conference made this claim, and it left a real impression on me. When you tout that “everything” can be automated in DevOps, you do run the risk of raising the ire of testers who are tired of having to differentiate the value of their work from that of tools.

In this article, I pointed out:

This is where the differentiation between testers and their tools should become clear to everyone. The human levels of empathy, ingenuity, and proactive approach cannot be scripted, automated or baked into any tool, and the best testers care enough about their product and its customers to prove it.

Those with real DevOps experience and knowledge know that “automate everything” doesn’t literally mean “everything.” Confusing, right?

In DevOps, “everything” really refers to error-prone manual efforts around deployment, and the provisioning, cloning, and sharing of environments. Automating these frees up countless hours for manual efforts that positively impact quality like exploratory testing and collaboration.

Click here to read more of “Testing Will Never Be Automated” at DevOps.com, and learn what has testers so frustrated, and how they can best educate those around them.

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